Metalocalypse – Season 2 (2010)

Directed By: Various
Written By: Brendon Small
  Tommy Blacha
  Bill Braudis
Starring: Tommy Blacha
  Brendon Small
  Mark Hamill
  Victor Brandt
Metalocalypse – Season 2

Metalocalypse is an [adult swim] animated series, created by Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, which is centered around heavy metal band Dethklok, a group so popular that they constitute the 7th largest economy on Earth. Their line-up consists of Nathan Explosion, William Murderface, Skwisgaar Skwigelf, Pickles and Toki Wartooth. Metalocalypse follows the everyday trials and tribulations of Dethklok, their rabid fans and the shadowy figures out to ruin their fun. I watched the entire second series in one go, whilst getting increasingly pissed on gin & tonic. Fuckin’ metal!

The Good

If you like your music angry and loud, then there’s a very good chance that you’ll enjoy this. Death Metal fans in particular will lap it up. Metalocalypse takes the form of the best kind of parody – that which both celebrates and lampoons its chosen target in equal measure. All the songs are written and performed (with the exception of the drum track) by creator Brendon Small, who clearly has the sort of talent and technical ability that made my entire Friday night spent watching cartoons and drinking on my own seem even more pathetic than it already did. In fact, the musical composition is of such high quality that removed from the context of the show, you’d never realise that it came from an animated comedy.

The animation itself doesn’t inspire awe, but it’s pretty damn good, and certainly better than the typical [adult swim] fare. I’m reliably informed (by Wikipedia, unchallenged source of pure distilled knowledge) that even the guitar fingerwork is accurately animated. Given that the average guitarist could play better with their elbows than I can with all ten clumsy digits, I can’t vouch for that, but there’s definitely been more effort applied than is usually seen in animated musicians.

Most of the humour comes from visual gags and malapropisms from the english-as-a-second-language characters, but there’s also the odd pop culture reference and plenty of satire of the music industry thrown in for good measure. I even laughed out loud on a few occasions, which is rare for me, so top marks there. “Leech Al Jolsen” was a personal highlight. Metalocalypse is also chock-full of gore, since every performance by Dethklok inevitably results in the deaths of dozens of fans. Nothing is off-limits in that respect either, with men, women and children all meeting their demise in imaginative ways.

The more astute viewers will also be able to spot a variety of recognisable voices in both the main characters and small cameo parts, including Malcolm McDowell, Mark Hamill, Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield and >em>Mike Patton.

The Bad

If you struggle with understanding accents or people with speech impediments, you might have a hard time understanding what the characters are talking about a lot of the time, especially Murderface. Fortunately, my student days were spent in the company of borderline alcoholics with broad accents so no problems there for me. The primary issue though is that if you’re not a fan of heavy metal, there’s not a lot for you here. It’s pretty inaccessible to easy listeners.

I also noticed towards the end of my evening, when the gin was leaking from my pores and I was craving a greasy burger, that if your attention lapses for any amount of time there’s a good chance you won’t know what the fuck is going on when you refocus. This won’t necessarily impair your enjoyment though!

Overall

While some of the episodes in Metalocalypse Season 2 are better than others, overall this is a show that lives up to the hype. If you fall outside of the key demographic (male viewers aged 18-33 with a penchant for metal) then approach with caution, but don’t write it off altogether. The music element is top notch, the humour is often base but sharp and well-observed and the animation is great quality. Well worth seeking out!

Rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.